Indy Speedrome back with USAC

Grass roots racing is alive and well in Indianapolis, the self-proclaimed "Crossroads of America", with the announcement that USAC midget racing will return to the newly renamed Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome. The United States Auto...

Grass roots racing is alive and well in Indianapolis, the self-proclaimed "Crossroads of America", with the announcement that USAC midget racing will return to the newly renamed Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome.

The United States Auto Club, which held races at the Speedrome from 1958 to 1999, will conduct regular Wednesday night tripleheaders at the soon to be repaved 1/5-mile oval, consisting of "regional" Midget, Ford Focus Midget and Kenyon Midget competition. The series will commence on May 5 and extend through August 18th for all three categories.

According to USAC president and CEO Rollie Helmling, two National Midget events are on the docket as well. The sanctioning body, which is conducting 181 total races during the 2003 season, is "thrilled" to be working with Checkered Flag Enterprises, which purchased the Eastside track late in 1996 and is working to update the facility.

"USAC is pleased to return to the Indianapolis Speedrome and particularly pleased at the avenue this new program opens for aspiring drivers. With three basic levels of competition, we are excited that we are able to expand in a new and exciting format" for new competitors, Helmling stated.

While USAC involvement with Kenyon Midget Cars, built by Don and Mel Kenyon to offer a step into Midget racing for teens aged 12-16, is not new, USAC sanctioning will be new to that series in the 2004 season. Between them, the brothers own 11 National car owner championships in USAC and Mel Kenyon is a 7-time USAC National Midget titleholder.

The Ford Focus Midget Series, which had its genesis on the West Coast and is just this year appearing in the Midwest US, is a cost-friendly alternative to Regional and National Midget series. With sealed engines delivered at about $8000 and ready to run for 50-70 events, the Focus Midget series offers competitors contests with an emphasis on "heart, not wallet," according to Joel Cohen, Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome owner and race organizer.

The introduction made today at the Speedrome is intended to "bring enthusiasts of weekly midget racing" back to this track for the 2004 season and thereafter, Helmling declared. Open Wheel Wednesdays at the Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome begins May 5, 2004 and offers fans the opportunity to see the next great stars of open wheel racing on their way up the USAC ladder.

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